The Zombie Translator Rises Again

The Zombie Translator is back and better than ever. Not only does it “work” but there are now more example phrases not to mention vast improvements to the zombie linguistic engine.

My brother Derek is also involved as a writer.

There’s also a “social” element to the Zombie Translator. You can follow it on Twitter @ZTranslator, Tumblr and Google+. There you will find useful phrases to memorize. Some phrases are things you might like to communicate to a zombie and others are things zombies might be trying to tell you.

You are more then welcome to “like” the zombie translator on Facebook, but I’m not sure I’ll be posting much there.

What follows is mostly for my fellow software developers. If you do not care about such details you can stop reading.

I built the zombie translator on Google App Engine in python. It has been a pretty good experience so far. I’ve been playing around with Google App Engine for a few years now and they seem to be making it steadily better.

If it’s not obvious, the front end is all written in Bootstrap. I’ve learned a lot about bootstrap building this. It’s very handy. Getting the site looking half way decent and functional was much easier with Bootstrap then starting from the HTML5 Boilerplate (where I used to start) although it looks like they’ve added some more stuff recently. It’s also got the whole “responsive” thing too, which I pretty much got for free (you should try the site on your smart phones, it works pretty well).

I’m also hopefully that if I ever want to give it a face lift to make it look more like a zombie translator and less like a bootstrap site, that should be an ‘easy’ process.

For the “zombie linguistic engine” I actually am using the “natural language library” NLTK, which sounds like it should be a translation of the Bible, but it’s not, it’s a python library for determining meaning from “natural language”. It has a bunch of cool tools and hopefully in the future I can spend more time exploring it.

In the future I’m planning on using this as a ‘toy’ project. There are several javascript front-end libraries I’d like to learn, including Angular and React. I figure this is just the right size of an app to build after I’ve done the obligatory “TODO” app.

I’ve also spend a little bit of time trying to automate the process of posting the translations to the various social networks. I’d like to keep things going as long as I can. However I want to spend as little time on it as possible, so I’m trying to automate the process. So far the only social network I have automated to my liking is Tumblr. They have a great API and a really nice post queuing system. I can see why they are so popular, if only I could get all my friends on Facebook to switch to Tumblr.